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  • As a country whose culture is world renowned, Jamaica recognized UNESCO’s invaluable role in promoting the cultural and creative industries as key drivers of development.
  • This message was conveyed by Jamaica’s permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Ambassador Vilma McNish, as she delivered Jamaica’s policy statement at the 38th General Conference of UNESCO at the organization’s headquarters in Paris on 4 November 2015.
  • The General Conference is the governing body of UNESCO and brings together the Organization’s 195 Member States to determine the direction of its programmes and activities for the next two years

As a country whose culture is world renowned, Jamaica recognized UNESCO’s invaluable role in promoting the cultural and creative industries as key drivers of development. This message was conveyed by Jamaica’s permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Ambassador Vilma McNish, as she delivered Jamaica’s policy statement at the 38th General Conference of UNESCO at the organization’s headquarters in Paris on 4 November 2015.

Ambassador McNish highlighted the importance of the cultural and creative industries to the Jamaican economy noting that they are a significant contributor to the country’s GDP. She informed that a National Cultural and Creative Industries Commission was established in 2014 to undertake the development and implementation of a policy and master plan for the sector.

Ambassador McNish underlined Jamaica’s partnership with UNESCO over the years and expressed country’s appreciation of the organization’s continuing focus on social inclusion; building the skills of people through technical and vocational education and training (TVET); supporting efforts to ensure greater gender balance; eradicating illiteracy and poverty; and promoting science and innovation and youth empowerment.

The 38th Session of the General Conference which runs from 3 to 18 November 2015 coincides with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Organisation. In this regard, she said the shared vision of UNESCO as a multilateral institution that would harness the creativity, collective will and determination of the international community to contribute to sustainable peace and prosperity, remains as relevant today as it did seven decades ago.

With its core mandate of promoting cooperation in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information, Ambassador McNish said UNESCO was uniquely placed to play a key role in fulfilling the development aspirations of peoples around the globe.  She encouraged UNESCO’s continued leadership in championing the cause of developing countries in the international efforts to chart a new post-2015 Development Agenda. In the light of their vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change, she observed that “more than others, Small Island Developing States, such as Jamaica, have a vested interest in a legally binding agreement emanating from COP21 in Paris later this month.”

Recalling the inscription earlier in the year of the Blue and John Crow Mountains as a World Heritage Site she said Jamaica was “mindful of the trust placed in us to protect and preserve this unique landscape as part of the common heritage of mankind” and extended an open invitation to visit the site.

The General Conference is the governing body of UNESCO and brings together the Organization’s 195 Member States to determine the direction of its programmes and activities for the next two years.

Jamaica’s delegation to the conference included Mr. Everton Hannam, Secretary General of UNESCO’s National Commission in Jamaica, Mr. Rohan Clarke, First Secretary and Delegate to UNESCO, and Ms. Debra-Kay Palmer, Technical Project Coordinator, Ministry of Youth and Culture.